To: Andrew Sampson: Rights granted by the GPL _can_ be "retroactively" retracted. Yes I am a lawyer

From: informator
Date: Tue May 07 2019 - 20:11:02 EST

Dear Andrew Sampson;
The proclamations given in the thread: are incorrect.

If the non-exclusive licensee did not pay the copyright holder consideration for receipt of the permissions given regarding the copyrighted work, the copyright holder can freely rescind those permissions _AT_ANY_TIME_ .

The reasons are as follows: For the licensee to "hold" the licensor to any promise regarding when and how rescission is to take place there must be a contract between the two. A contract requires valid bargained-for consideration. Otherwise any "promise" made is an Illusory Promise (unenforceable).

"Nothing" is not valid consideration.

Obeying a pre-existing duty is not valid consideration.

The licensee has a pre-existing duty to obey copyright law, without permission from the copyright holder he may not use/modify/make-derivative-works-of/distribute/distribute-derivative-works-of. That permission is what he is attempting to "contract" for. Saying one will follow those permissions is not valid consideration to "pay" for those permissions. Promising not to violate the copyright holder's rights -by promising to only use the copyrighted works as freely permitted by the copyright holder, is not valid consideration as that is a pre-existing duty.

Yes: Codeusa: you _C_A_N_ revoke GPL permissions from free-takers at your will. And you should do so if that is needed for your livelihood to succeed.

You should do so if it is simply your want.

Do not the pennyless leaches intimidate you from making your own decisions regarding your work of authorship. They gave you nothing, you asked for nothing, they have nothing. Remember: a non-exclusive license is not a transfer, it is permission. Permission that can be ended at any time unless there exists an attached interest (ie: the other side payed you for a license contract)
Also Remember: The FSF has _always_ (and still does) required Copyright Transfers before it would accept a contribution.

And yes: I am a lawyer.

Of course: consult your local copyright attorney. Strategy is important in these cases. The free-loaders feel they have the 9th circuit judges in the bag, and that the 9th circuit will invalidate the concept of consideration if needed to protect the California tech industry (so revoke from those outside the 9th circuit first).

For easy to read by lay-people discussions on this topic:

For legal articles and treatises that agree: no consideration from GPL free-taker, no contract, revocable by the copyright holder:

Note: I tried to inform you of this on your github account but was immediatly "hell banned" by github.

Pro-Bono Attorney